Arkansas Public Official Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain an Arkansas Public Official bond.
At a Glance:
- Lowest Cost: $100 per year or $10 a month
- Bond Amount: Determined on a case-by-case basis (more on this later)
- Who Needs It: All public officials elected for state, county, or city offices in Arkansas
- Purpose: To protect the public from financial harm if the public official commits fraud or otherwise abuse their position of power
- Who Regulates Public Officials in Arkansas: The Arkansas Secretary of State
Code of Arkansas 21-2-107 requires all public officials elected for a state, county, or city position to obtain a surety bond before being sworn in for their office term. The Arkansas Legislature enacted the surety bond requirement to ensure that public officials do not abuse their position of power. To provide financial security for enforcing such laws, public officials must purchase and maintain a surety bond to be eligible for their elected position.
What Is the Purpose of the Arkansas Public Official Bond?
Code of Arkansas 21-2-107 requires all public officials to purchase a surety bond as part of the process of being sworn into office. The bond ensures that restitution is available to any damaged party should the public official fail to abide by the regulations outlined in the Code of Arkansas Title 21, Chapters 1 – 15. Specifically, the bond protects claimants if the public official commits fraud or otherwise abuses their position of power. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the public official violates the terms surrounding their elected position.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain an Arkansas Public Official Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining an Arkansas Public Official bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “public official” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email, or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.
Not an agent? Then let us pair you with one!
Click the above image to find a BX Agent near you
How Is the Arkansas Public Official Bond Amount Determined?
The limit on the Arkansas Public Official bond can significantly vary based on the locale and elected official’s position. In most cases, a Public Official Bond limit is determined by the state governor and must be in an amount they deem necessary for any elected official in said department, institution, commission, bureau, board, or agency.
Is a Credit Check Required for the Arkansas Public Official Bond?
If the Arkansas Public Official bond limit is under $50,000, a credit check is not required. Because the bond is considered relatively low risk, the same rate is offered to all public officials in Arkansas regardless of their credit history.
How Much Does the Arkansas Public Official Bond Cost?
The Arkansas Public Official bond typically costs $100 per year or $10 per month. However, if the required bond limit is over $50,000 (this is unlikely), premium costs can vary. In most cases, rates sit at 0.5% of the bond amount.
Who Needs a Public Official Bond in Arkansas?
In most states, many government positions require a surety bond before they may be sworn in for their elected term. Public Official bonds cover town, city, or municipal governments, state government agencies, city and state courts, as well as community and state colleges. Below is a general list of elected officials that may be required to obtain an Arkansas Public Official bond:
- Attorney General
- State Auditor
- State Treasurer
- Fire Marshall
- Court Clerks
- Deputy Sheriff
- Tax Commissioner
- City Clerks or other City Officials
- Town Clerks or other Town Officials
- County Clerks or other County Officials
- Agents Selling Hunting and Fishing Licenses
- Deputies and employees of Public Officials
The Arkansas Public Official bond must be filed with the office of the Secretary of State before the officeholder may be officially sworn in. According to the Code of Arkansas 21-2-108, the surety bond will generally run concurrently with the public official’s term of office or a maximum of two years.
BondExchange now offers monthly pay-as-you-go subscriptions for surety bonds. Your customers are able to purchase their bonds on a monthly basis and cancel them anytime. Learn more here.
What Are the Insurance Requirements for Public Officials in Arkansas?
In most cases, Arkansas does not require public officials to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to being sworn into office. However, public officials must purchase and maintain a surety bond.
How Do Public Officials File Their Bonds in Arkansas?
Arkansas state public officials should submit their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, to the office of the Secretary of State (see the mailing address listed below). In addition, a copy of the surety bond must be filed with the office of the Auditor of State.
State Capitol, Suite 256
500 Woodlane Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
As for county public officials, the Public Official bond shall be filed in the office of the recorder in the county in which the officers are elected or appointed.
The surety bond requires signatures from the surety company, as well as the elected public official. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- The legal name of the individual buying the bond
- Surety company’s name
What Can Arkansas Public Officials Do to Avoid a Claim Against Their Surety Bond?
To avoid claims against their bonds, public officials in Arkansas must follow all regulations regarding their elected position, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Public Officials in Arkansas?
Most governing institutions will purchase liability insurance covering losses pertaining to a public official committing fraud, negligence, or malfeasance. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any other types of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Public Official Customers in Arkansas?
Unfortunately, Arkansas does not provide a public list of active public officials in the state. We suggest contacting the Secretary of State through this resource for a list of active public officials in the state. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.